Louis van Gaal led the Manchester United first-team and celebrity guests as the 15th annual United for Unicef Gala Dinner raised a record £210,000 for the world’s leading children’s organisation.

Hosted by television sports presenter Mike Bushell, the black-tie event is the highlight of the Club’s social calendar and was attended by the first-team squad and partners, plus the manager and coaching staff.  

Indie rock band The Enemy headlined the event and other celebrities in attendance included Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor, Countdown’s Rachel Riley and Emmerdale actor Chris Bisson.

Manchester United and Unicef are currently celebrating 15 years of the United for Unicef partnership; the longest running of its kind between a sporting organisation and a global children’s organisation. Over this time, the partnership has helped to improve the lives of over 3.4 million children worldwide. 

Money raised from the event will help fund Unicef's work protecting vulnerable children in Vietnam from abuse, neglect and exploitation and guests were able to support Unicef by bidding on money-can’t-buy prizes in the auction and taking part in the raffle and other fundraising games throughout the evening.  

Enjoying his first gala dinner at the helm of the club, Louis van Gaal said:

“It does not surprise me that Manchester United is part of such a significant charity partnership and one that has impacted on the lives of so many children throughout the world. Our work with Unicef is something this club can be very proud of and I was honoured to join the players at tonight’s 15 year anniversary event.”

Reds’ captain Wayne Rooney added: 

“Any player who signs for this club soon realises how important Unicef is to Manchester United. I’ve been attending the gala dinner for ten years now and it’s always a great evening that raises a lot of money for United for Unicef. “Like myself, most of the players here tonight have young families so it’s very moving to learn about the Unicef project in Vietnam and the awful circumstances so many children have to face. I’m just glad we could help tonight and am grateful to all the supporters who joined us to make it such a special event.”

Unicef UK Deputy Executive Director for Fundraising Catherine Cottrell concluded:

“We are really proud to be celebrating fifteen years of partnership with Manchester United this year; thanks to the continued support we’ve received from the club and its fans we’ve been able to transform the lives of millions of children. All the money raised through tonight’s gala dinner will help us protect children in Vietnam who are living their lives in danger of abuse, neglect and exploitation. On behalf of everyone at Unicef I would like to say a huge thank you to those who donated tonight and helped us reach even more children in need of help and protection.” 


Notes for editors:

Images are available now from Getty and video footage including interviews with Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj and Daley Blind can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/10s3gIS 

Photo caption:United for Unicef Gala Dinner attended by the full Manchester United first-team and VIP guests. The dinner celebrated 15 years of the partnership between Manchester United and Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, and raised over £210,000 for its crucial work for vulnerable children around the world.

Credit for footage usage: Pictures courtesy of MUTV

For further information please contact Unicef UK Press Office, +44 (0)20 7375 6030 media@unicef.org.uk

About United for Unicef
Manchester United was the first football club to take the initiative in developing an active partnership between Unicef and the world of football. United for Unicef was launched in 1999 and is the longest running collaboration between a Premiership football club and a global charity. To date, the club has raised over £3.2 million helping over 3.4 million children worldwide. Manchester United was one of the first corporate partners to sign up to support Unicef’s five year global children and AIDS campaign, Unite for Children Unite against AIDS. Manchester United’s partnership with Unicef under the ‘United for Unicef’ brand is managed by Manchester United Foundation. 

About Unicef
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visitunicef.org.uk